“I fell in love with the place. I fell in love with the community. I fell in love with the culture of the school, the students, and the staff.”
“It is just a happy place to come.”
“Our principal is not only dedicated to the success of our students, but he’s dedicated to the success of the South Cobb community. He’s helped us to do better academically, he’s beautified the campus, he’s why South Cobb is the best it ever has been.”
“Our teachers are second to none. They go out of their way each and every day to ensure that they are doing amazing things for our students.”
THAT’S how the students, staff, and principal describe South Cobb High School. As can be seen in the words of both students and staff in the video “This is South Cobb”, South Cobb High School is at a high-water point in its long history.
South Cobb, which is rich in tradition dating back to the early 1950s, is home to one of the Cobb County School District’s six elite magnet programs. According to U.S. News and World Report, South Cobb is in the top 25% percent of high-performing high schools in Georgia. In addition, 2018-2019 saw South Cobb earn the highest test scores in its 67-year history, more scholarship dollars than any class in recent history with over $6,000,000 in earned scholarship dollars, and the highest percentage of students attending two- or four-year universities.
South Cobb’s principal doesn’t only credit the student success to the staff who he describes as second-to-none.
“I really feel that students reflect their environment, and if you are in an environment that is not conducive to learning than learning will not take place,” Principal Terza explained. Principal Terza’s entire graduation speech was streamed live in front of thousands of students and parents at Kennesaw State University on Tuesday night in which over 380 students became the most successful graduating class in South Cobb’s history. A transcript of Principal Terza’s graduation speech can be found here.
As echoed by Student Body President Genevieve Ellis at South Cobb’s graduation on Tuesday night and as can be seen here, “Principal Terza has set the standard high for the entire school, that’s why we have seen the improvements that we have.”
He wants the students to have a sense of pride in where they go to school just like the past graduates, including the ones from six decades ago who still get together to reminisce about their time at the historic South Cobb High School.
In addition to teaming up with the school district to renovate parts of the campus and plan for the new 3,000 seat gymnasium that will soon be built with Ed-SPLOST funds, the South Cobb team has enlisted the help of the District’s Maintenance department and community to beauty the campus. Local churches like Orange Hill Baptist Church have been long-standing partners of South Cobb who, along with corporate partners and the District, have made South Cobb’s campus one of the cleanest, best-looking campuses in all of Cobb County.
Comcast Cares is one of the many community partners that has committed to making and keeping South Cobb a place where teachers like Robert Byrd III never want to leave. Despite recent inaccurate reports in mainstream media, and as can be seen here, South Cobb’s entire campus looks like what it is: one of the best places to learn in Cobb County.
“The facilities here are great. I will be here until the day when they tell me I have to hang it up,” said the smiling Byrd, who is a 12-year veteran South Cobb educator.
The South Cobb students, taking pride in South Cobb and all it represents, also have taken steps to beautify the campus.
One student organization rebuilt the green house on campus to make it fully functional. Now students grow plants and hold an annual plant sale. Another student organization took an unclaimed area of the campus and transformed it in to a study garden.
Those are not the only areas that grow South Cobb pride.
“The math teachers are awesome,” declared South Cobb junior Jacob.
He is also impressed with the new additions to the school.
The new 750-seat theater was added to South Cobb as part of Ed-SPLOST IV.
Anhala, a 10th grader, echoed Jacob’s comments about the campus. Even though there are a lot of students, the school staff doesn’t let it show.
“The cafeterias are clean,” she said. “They are always clean.”
For fellow sophomore, Charlissa, she is most impressed by all the activities that South Cobb offers. In today’s age of school threats, the safety of students is a top priority for South Cobb and the students notice.
“I like the campus. It is safe. There is nothing to be scared about,” freshman Jessica said reassuringly.
Helping students like Jessica, Jacob, Anhala, and Charlissa feel at home is one of the reasons Leslie McClendon has served as a member of the Maintenance Department at South Cobb High School for 20 years.
“All of the kids are great, and the staff are great. I get along with all the teachers and the principal. It is just a happy place to come. It’s a good place to work,” explained the South Cobb building engineer.
McClendon and his maintenance team help keep South Cobb running. Sometimes his crew needs extra help. That’s when they call in the unsung heroes of the Cobb County School District Maintenance Department, which responsible for the upkeep of 3,137 acres and 17 million square feet of conditioned space in the Cobb County School District.
Having served at South Cobb for more than a decade, Byrd may be one of the best to describe the work of the principal, school staff, maintenance department, the community partners, and students to make South Cobb what it is today.
“I’m in every building, every day. I think this is a beautiful campus,” he said.